Alternative Title

Influence of the learning environment on the emerging social worker's professional identity as an agent of social justice

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Social work education, Social workers-Training, Social justice, Social service-Fieldwork, Social work education-Curricula, Social workers-Professional ethics, Professional self, Social climate, Field placement, Professional identity development, MSW training, Organizational climate, Social work curriculum, Field practicum, NASW, Code of Ethics, Social action, Advocacy, Social change, CSWE, Social environment


In Master of Social Work programs, one of the objectives of the field practicum is the development of a professional self. A field placement agency may encourage, discourage, and/or limit the student’s ability to implement social justice interventions in their work with clients which may impact their development of a professional identity as it relates to social justice. In this exploratory study, qualitative data was obtained through eight semi-structured interviews. The findings confirm that the social climate of a field placement agency influences the student’s ability to develop aspects of their professional identity dedicated to engaging in social action activities. Additionally, these experiences were found to have long-term consequences on the student’s later professional behavior in advocacy work as well as in relationships with supervisors and other social workers.




62 pages : color illustration. Includes bibliographical references (pages 43-49)

Included in

Social Work Commons